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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  May 10, 2010 8:30pm-11:00pm EDT

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future, a point to multipoint this tradition service, which is a broadcasting is licensed on a local level has provided basic news and information. the economics of news generation in this country, particularly with reporters on the street have all promised and if you look at the economics, it's all local television that is driving that. and i think it would be a tragedy if we shifted to a model that according to the research, right now of news and the internet is not economically sustainable by itself. >> host: mr. calabrese. >> guest: so i grew at the chairman and in general i ain't there is clearly a convergence, not going to virgins toward the internet, particularly as people get, you know, superfast fiber to the home. broadcasting really ultimately is the contract including local content and not so much the
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mechanism. when you want tv programming on their time and not some single time. >> host: and we're going to have to leave it there. sorry we're out of time. michael calabrese, david donovan, both on the spectrum advisory committee for the commerce department. thank you for being on "the communicators.""the communicators" is our website. you can find us on this bookshelf for this call to spectrum if you'd like to look at that for yourself you can find it hyperlinks at that site. thanks for being with us. >> host: >> we can't presume justice stevens prevision or experience that i suggested a nominee who i believe embodies the same excellence, independence, integrity and passion for the lost and you can ultimately provide that same kind of
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leadership on the court. our solicitor general and my friend elena kagan. >> with a supreme court justice in the news, learn more about the nation's highest court from those who observed on the bench in c-span's latest book, the supreme court, pages of candid conversation with all the justices act up and retire providing unique insight about the supreme court available now in hardcover and also as an e-book. >> the midterm elections are just six months away and could change the balance to power in washington. watch the debates of liberty taken place in the key house and senate governor races across the country on line at the c-span search it, watch it, and share it all for you for you its cables latest gift to america. >> orden brown announced today that he'll step down as labor leader by september. labor and the liberal democrats
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are opening formal negotiations for a coalition government. all talks continue between the conservatives and the democrats a look at the latest on the british election. this is about 15 minutes. >> gordon brown announces he'll step aside as they race to replace him as prime minister hots up. >> it's an extraordinary day at westminster, counter offers t liberal democrats. first come this afternoon gor brown's dramatic legislation announcement. >> i've no desire to stand my position longer than is needed to ensure the pas growth is assured and the process of political reform we agreed moves forward quickly. >> host:  within two hours they made a new improved bid.
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>> the holding of a referendu on the alternative vote system. and more drama with meetings continuing into this. michael crick is at westminster >> after a dramatic and exciting day. we still have no idea who will form our next government. >> in your reaction from herrio tallman has come from a negotiation of the liberal democrat team. and will also be joined by key member michael gold. the markets have been watching and paul mason is here. and we also speak to the french finance minister after massive european bailout. and with promising to be gone, who might succeed as labor leader. mnist at roughly an statement just look back at t political journey and the legacy of a prime minister as  the tax return.
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good evening. the end of the day of frantic legal maneuvering and the announcement by gordon brown at the end to his prime minister career. just a moment too soon for his political detractors. the pace and direction that associations to secure a deal for governments appear to be moving all the time. after gordon brown announced labor was to begin formal negotiations with the liberal democrats, the conservatives upped the ante with a referendu  the election will system. they are currently meeting to nsider their options of political edge michael crick reports on the late >> at 5:00 tonight came the new which may soon lead to the unblocking of this  crisis. gordon brown stepped out into downing street to annou
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labor was now in formal scussions with the liberal mocrats to try and form a government. t then, he revealed the dramatic twists that have led t those coalition talks starting. >> i would however like to say something also about my own position. if it becomes clear that the national interest, which is stable and principal governme can be best served by forming a coalition between the lab party and the liberal democrats then i believe i should scharge the duties, to fund a government, which is my view of what commanded majority in the house of commons in the green speech and any other company's posts. but i have no desire to stand my position longer than is needed to ensure the past economic growth is assured in the proces of political reform we have agreed moves forward quickly. the reason that we have a hung parliament is that no single party and no single leader was
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able to win the full support of a country. as leader of my party, i must accept that that is a judgment on me. i therefore intend to ask the labor parties to set in trade the process is needed for leadership election. i would hope that he would be completed in time for the new leader to be an post by the time of the labour arty conference. i will play no part in that contest. i will beg no individual candidate. >> so, dramatic news there. gordon brown resigning as leade of the labour party in order to help bring about a coalition government between the labour party and the liberal democrats how will the rest of politics react to that? how things had changed. this morning when the conservative negotiating team emerged from their latest tal of the cabinet office with the liberal democrats, it was all smiles. the conservatives seem to be closing in on a historic deal
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>> things are working really well together. >> further progress has been made them are going for it knot with parliamentary colleagues. >> but behind the scenes, we later learned make clegg was lding a secret meeting with gordon brown, which may explain why the team was being so tightlipped. >> i don't think i've ever seen three politicians so not since ids. so now, the liberal democrat team have to go off and meet their impede and also later on the federal executive. >> their first meeting with liv band and pizza place in the comments grand committee room of one's mr. hall at lun reporters gathered expect dean  conservative deal might be announced within ho but when david lures emerged it s clear there were still problems.
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>> although we're very consciou do make these decisions quickly and that was a clea the parliamentary party today, we also want to make sure we ge ese matters right. >> liberal democrat mps have been graded by their negotiators. he told the negotiators to go back and see clarif that of three on a number of issues, but it's not really clear how much progress has b made so far and whether the liberal democrats are really being offered anything substantial on that issue of ortional repr >> just the sugar which about with a still conservatives. >> i don't know what the eventual outcome will be. will just judges simply, constructively every step of th way. >> how important is pr for this >> i think it's important, but not something -- i think we can get something out of this. >> on pr? >> i'm moving to vote along in a different way. >> using most mps will be happy with that?
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>> i think it's a step in the right direction. >> how pressing those words would later prove to be for gordon brown's later your new atement it was now came on. >> is just after 10 past five and it's very difficult to know where to go next or indeed where e story goes next. gordon brown's dramatic intervention certainly things. the last two or three days we'v all been assuming it's about a deal between the conservatives and the lib dems. but now, there does seriously things with the determie possibility of it idea between labour and the lib dems. >> and when nick clegg made his statement soon after it was clear the lib dems were conducting a bidding war betwee two buyers fighting desperately for the same house. >> we think it's the right thing, the responsible thing to not open talks on exactly the same basis we been having with e conservative party but the
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liberal party continuing our discussions with the conservatives. gordon brown made an important announcement today. it must've been a very diff thing for him to say personally but i think he's taken it in the national interest and i think his announcement could be an important element in the smooth transition toward a stable government the people deserve. >> so when david cameron made his mps and the comments at 6:00, he knew he had to improve its offer to the lib dems. into the defined  backbenchers remained quiet, he did so. >> what it appears as the conservatives are willing offer the liberal democrats a referendum on the alternative vote -- voting system, not the same as proportional representation, but it would mean in some peoples eyes a slightly fair distribution of seats and of course that's what gordon brown was offering befor the election.
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>> in the interest of trying to create a stable, secure vernment, we will go the ex mile and we will all in the liberal democrats, the holding of a referendum on the ternative vote system.  so we're moving toward conservative liberal democrat coalitions. >> that's a matter for my colleagues later on this evening. we do want to get a move on w this and will try to reach a resolution i'm sure. >> but it's not full-blooded   some ways it can be less proportional? >> there is no secrets, but i wish -- will consider. >> tonight, labor called  with the lib dems and they ed them positive and construct to good lab traded to the conservatives i conserving devi without a referendum and author of referendum on the kind of proportional voting system that
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the lib dems really prefer. >> we're joined now from downing street. first of all, how has c managed to keep the conservativ right on board throughout a this? >> well, that's a fascinating question. a sickly today, david order to get into the door has had to make offers offers not just to the liberal democrat an as i understand it to the right of his party. they will have been mps, t will be serious misgivings abt this concession on kb, vb ferendum and seriousness innings without any kind of coalition agreements with the liberal democrats. as i understand it tonight, the promise is furthermore nservative of cabinet posts for prominent right-wingers. and the names that i'm here tonight are david david, that must be a difficult one for david cameron to swallow given his resignation a year or so ag and the former leaders, michael howard and ian smith.
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>> andy muir of view, goodlatte pack actually work? >> well, i'm pretty skeptical about that. a lot of people frankly and the labour party are. first of all, because the figures don't add up. labor has got 258 seats come in the liberal democrats 57. adding us together you will be reach 315. that's eight short of the majority, deficient in mind. so they have to bring another parties as well. the stl peace in northern ireland would be much of a problem, but also to d. snp, on or other to mps. it would be. unstable coalition. and of course onl even then. and of course that's assuming that all the ban totally obedient and loyal and we see from gordon brown's advocate the backbencher with the last three years and of course by election or whatever it would run into problems. and of course is the problem of having a second unelected by th
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public leader, prime minister. on top of that, there's your skepticism about whether gordon brown or his successor can really deliver on t on tv and more proportional voting system with the plp, we're willing to agree to the parliamentary paper to agree to a tv without a referendum or even for a referendum on system like stb. so i think it's a pretty, it's an understandable skepticism about whether this would work >> michael, thank you very much half has been a negotiated level democrats this evening. she joins us now. you're going out tonight to get the liberal democrats to sign-up? >> is not about getting the liberal democrats to sign up. it's about. nd the people -- th voted for any one party to happen overall majority in go to straight majority government. what is the best thing in the blic interest for us to do 
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make sure that we play our part to have a stably secure government. >> if that means ditchir manifesto commitment and refo on a av commute just done it. he's a joke on better than the es. >> if you're going to a partnership arrangement other than your own manifesto you have to compromise and discuss things. but i do think the suggestion really conservative scare story, the idea that somehow we've come into negotiations and h immediately ditched the idea that there will be a referendum and without actually wanting to disclose what's being if we could just got people's attention back towards what are nifesto set, which was that w support the idea of changing the voting systems to a av, but it should not happen without a referendum. but we obviously have to discus these things, not only with the liberal democrats but with the
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national executive committee labour party and the parliamentary labour party. the we've got to do it sooner rather than later, we need a government, a new government to take the country forward. >> what is the continuation o orden brown and downing seek a deal breaker? >> well, i think he took the view he needed to take some responsibility for the election result that actually would pa the way more easily treat partnership agreement to be stepped down. i don't think that's the point. i think he thought it was in th public's interest for him to step aside and i think we should y credit to him for doing that. >> the liberal democrats seem t ress it was a dealbreaker. >> well, that might be their ew about what they wanted t do by way of agreement, but that's neither here nor there because before the discussions have even started, gordon bro had himself said that he is stepping aside. >> .the best thing for the party. >> yes it is. he's made that clear we should pay credit to them for that.
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>> will the liberal democrats take any labour, you think? >> well coming to give them a question of the liberal democrats choosing the labour leader. well, you know, we haven't got into that question. the question of who is the labour leader will actually s the type table in the process i in the labour party to actually decide on that. but i think the moment we're trying to form a government after a general election and we haven't set the timetable for the leadership election yet. >> are you going to stand? >> i'm deputy leader of the labour party that got no plans to step aside from that role. >> that means you're not standing for leader? so you're not standing? >> you can't run for leader at the same time as bein leader. fax others know reason you l so stand?  is my plan to stay.
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>> who will you support? >> to stand acidity would be with the ds to actually getting to back in one or another candidate, but actually at the moment i don't think anybody is declaring themselves as a candidate because what we need to do is make sure that got a new government for break-in and actually that's the most immediate priori. >> you must've heard john reid say this is just clinging onto power at any price and its undignified department anything else. >> orden brown has actually stepped aside. >> what labour there try to cling onto? >> no, we say we're prepared to play our part. and if we can be part of a partnership government, then so be it in the public interest will do that. we recognize that we didn't win the election. that is self-evident, that's obvious, but we need to play our part as parliamentarians to a new government. >> one of the key economic plants of the liberal democrats
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offer at the election w for those, no income tax for those earning less than 10,000 pounds. do that for a lot of the possibility for that offer? >> we party of years increased the threshold for what usurping tax and obviously these sorts o issues for have to be >> that is a key policy. i'm asking you, do you really doubt low income tax for under 10,000 a year? >> well, obviously don't go into scussions ruling out other things. if it is not a matter of principle. we have this want to help peopl lower income and over the years ourselves lightened the burden of tax by raising the tax threshold. >> thank you been much in now, i can be joined from westminster by michael gold louis bharata the other negotiating team. u've been listening carefully kos and the negotiating team i
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should say. if there is a referen just if there is a deal done between the liberals and the conservative democrats, which would you campaign for or against it? >> at the moment, we know there's a free vote. i think the most important thin is that you maintain a constituent linked in the constituency.  were now you're close to david cameron. as i'm in the party would v campaign against av as well? >> its individual would decide how they might vote, if were a referendum. i think there's a critical distinction here between the position that we're offering in a position that i think liberal party are offering. we think there needs to be the british people need to decide and the labour party are preparing to change the bidding system without them deciding. more than that, they're also attempting to arrange a coronation of a new prime minister without them having a
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chance to scrutinize against it >> so basically, you're considering a coalition with the party of which are fundamentall disagree to key plank of their tion manifesto. >> u.s. and the key plank of their election manifesto. do for the general election fro the liberal democrats understand that pointed out that was arraigned to think we wanted to secure. they wanted fair taxes and were making prog agreement between ourselves and them on the arguments they made for a system. they also wanted reforms to education, where we proba agreed and where we are working towards a consensus. and it was clear before the election that the liberal democrats said it worse they quite rightly have always wante to change the voting system can be a part of their dna. they also want to distr was one range. >> from the question of fair taxes, interest in  have given away on no income ta in terms of less than 10,000 pounds, is that correct?
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>> we've moved towards that they ve moved towards our positi on the need to deal the deficit more quickly and the nature of these negotiations. >> so that would take 17 billion pounds, 17 billion pounds to pay for that tax break. are you going to scrap [laughter] what are you going to do? is 17 billion. >> you were kind enough at the beginning -- you were kind enough at the beginning to note i'm not part of the negotiati team and they were in a new political realm here. and in that new politics, we have two parties that are seeking to provide stable government of the liberal democrats and negotiation goes on. >> i mean, except the negotiating scheme, but you f while the scrapping income ta means 17 billion pounds. have you any idea how you're going to find that 17 billion  you do find while that she don't invite your entire
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negotiating hand on television even to someone who asked questions. spinnakers with david cameron said during the election campaign. how you pay for it is 17 billion pounds. we have the normal stuff is that we need to reduce the deficit could you can't go around making promises like that. >> you just caved in on this one. >> you have a caved in. you were to uber deplaned the sort of vocabulary that you would expect from imax theater and politics. let's be clear, the electric di not give any party majority. i do wish they have. as every party wishes they had more than 226 mps and all manifested. we're now in negoti liberal democrats and we respec their priority and they respected some of i hope we can provide with the country needs at this point, which is a stable and broad-based government. if the liberal democrats choose and it is their prerogative to go into an arrangement with labour, as david blunt pointed out it is an unstable
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arrangement. if we choose to go in a as we all know, we don't know the prime minister at the end this process would be. we do know that nick clegg and david cameron on what to television debates for the public had a chance to scrutinize their position. we do know under labour's proposals we could end up with someone as prime minister who nobody expected to be in that position. >> you are generous enough yesterday and the day before to say that she would gi cabinet post in favor of the liberal democrats. you feel is generous about the idea that david cameron is goin to bring in right-wingers come 's going to bring in michael howard, and jenkinson at the mouth of david davis to a cabinet. what's your reaction to that? >> well, that to david who he's going to teammates. and it's a team effort in the conservative party. e of the striking things i think we had david has made thi a very generous offer to the liberal democrats and in doing he secure the support of the parliamentary party and
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there's a different era of our party be united and been ready to work for the local democrats on the agreed basis. in some of the attention the labour party would be out there saying this is an historic -- >> without an effort not to stop you. thank you indeed. we had to speak to liberal democrat program for their currently meeting to discuss th office no one was available. the dealmaking and horsetrading go on is the thick side of a  debate of the campaign. this is politics in the broad and a labour leadership will only intensify this atmospher but could this blow the labour party wide apart and it's so wh will be left to pick up the pieces? david crossman reports. >> so that's clear then, we don't know how we're going to get our next pm and we don't know who it's going to be. on the labour side, everything has been thrown wide open.
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>> the calculation that was mad inside downing street this afternoon is perhaps the most they could ssible to imagine for the labour party decided gordon brown was going to have to go a getting them to announce his departure this aftern there was just a chance that  party going on to power. >> i think the statement was the measure of demand. he reached a decision a right course was to stand bef the coming labour party. and so, he made clear his intentions to the british peopl today. he also make clear that nk clegg has requested formal negotiations with the labour party, where there's negotiations reached we cannot be clear. and in the meantime, we'll continue to discharge our responsibility to the governments of the  engaging with those liberal democrats. >> the big question though is that the liberal democrats make cordons from departure a precondition of any negotiations? >> all i can say from t
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discussions that have come on that at no point while at the democrat faith i told you it's all dependent on gordon brown and i think they know that is not their place to do that. d the labour party will decid and gordon brown has taken a decision today, which is set out and i think remains to the situation that is a bit clearer than it was. >> but make no mistake, this throw the dice by the prime minister on behalf of his party is deeply controversial, even within the labour party. we seem their figures facing dire warnings. >> i think the point of view of the electorate, the two e parties trying to consume t will of the major party, though i disagree with that will not b welcomed. i think that from the p you're cobbling together the necessary numbers to rely on the scottish nationalist and the northern irish as we would have
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to. their demand will be that the english get all the cuts, that they are protected from the cuts. so in all sorts of situations, the country's point of view i think will be pretty di from the point of view of the labour party, i think if we loo at where suspected electric am  think it will reach a revenge o the labour party and that's my particular interest in the future of this party. >> in truth, the battle to replace gordon brown has as labour leader has been simmering just below the surface for at least the last two years. if it can be pulled off can be de to work, while the person who occupies the number 10 long-term will be chosen not  the british people, but by the labour party. again. >> there are lots of lots of names and the faint and not -- they expect them both to run, but there are other candidates have melody and,
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 >> we will know until a new leader is elected and there will be a democratic process inside the labour party.
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>> not involving the british people? >> inside the labour party is quite common in our system to have the leaders of parties and indeed from time to time the prime minister changing d the course of the parliaments. we have a parliamentary democracy and it is the port support and confidence, rightly determines governance >> who is the big question? this afternoon over downing street there was white smoke coming out of the chimney. the politics have taken a. >> david to discuss the wisdom or otherwise of deals the liberal democrats and the leadership in the labour party. i'm joined with former conservative minister first of all you stood for parliament in order to get po with a labour lib dem deal and are labour leader good for the country? >> that remains to be seen. i have very serious doubts and have spoken with a lot of colleagues this morning abo and i think we have to tread
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very carefully here and i tk the comments earlier this evening, we should pay close attention. >> what are the basis of your doubts? >> first of all, there is clearly no way that that kind o coalition could be remotely stable. i and many of my friends will never simply not sit next to scottish nationalist that we have been trying to defeat. >> not even for the good of the country? >> i don't think it would be necessarily for the good of the country to have such an unstable coalition, and i think what he said was really important. it is not my job to couldn't defeat on the behalf of my party. we got 29% of the vote and we lost nearly 100 seats. for the labour party and the liberal democrats who are also, who also suffered a setback to form a coalition, along w everybody else.
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a lot of people will be looking at that and scratching their heads and wondering why? >> i want to talk to you about some of the details but let me turn to john. are you happy with the la concessions the conservatives seem to be making to the libera democrats in order to cobble together a deal? >> it shows that these leadership is gone the extra mile to try to get an agreeme and any shows we are putting nationalist above the party. >> do you think that would be a good move as far as you are concerned? >> i do not support the av. i like the's current system got and it is the system that hs the merit that everybody understands. it would be up to the british people. it would be quite wrong to show that the new system without a referendum. >> let's oust tom that, because what seems to be the case n and you heard harriet harman saying that not necessarily straight to a bill on av.
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>> what harley actually said wa the rumor is that we were going to offer a deal without the referendum. let me be absolutely clear. in the manifest we committed i think unwisely to a referendum on av, that is the very maximm we can offer the liberal send any deal we want to put together. >> willen av deal get your westminster do you think? >> i'm against any bill that goes any further than what was committed in the manifesto and an awful lot of my colleagues feel exactly the same way. >> a couple of other issues. first of all-- a good mov bad move? >> i'm not sure how strong that story is, but dave cameron, he is in business forming government, that is the role we need to sort out. whether we are going to be forming a government with the
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dems are not. i would be very happy to talk t david about that but i have to be honest. >> let's talk about the key texting because you know  income tax or less incomes for less than $10,000 in 17 billion pounds and durin campaign david cameron was absolutely clear that he thought was wrong. can you play roulette with the economy? >> i don't think they have agreed to say we can suddenly cut 17 billion. in the first year of the conservative liberal government. i am a tax cutter and i was the one who kept the flame of taxcutting alike when it wasn't popular with any of the three party so i'm delighted people want to cut income tax but i also want to know how it is going to be paid for and that i where i think there needs to be more negotiation and whether can be done with tax incread if so what would they be? >> tom, when you think of how the electorate is feeling all o this pleading offers, isn't
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there a danger? it looks as if leaders and potentially they have been becoming to corrupt with a snif of power. >> where do we start with how bad this looks to the electorate and what i have been saying for a while is that what we h exactly what we would get after every general election if we actually have had elections under the pr. with the parties put in manifesto manifest as innocent as the voters have their say you go behind closed doors and you have secret meetings. you banter away at all the manifesto promises. it is the very opposite of democratic and transparent. >> are you in entire agreement with that? >> yes i agree that it sh what a disaster it is. you have to have all this horse trading and people get what t feel they were voting for. it is a very bad system. >> the day began and it seemed  long time ago. the day began with the news of the e.u. and the imf has put together a chilean dollar global emergency rescue package to sto
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contagion from affecting the eurozone. we have closed ranks to save a euro said the finance minister. i will be speaking to her in a moment but first i'm joined by our economics editor, paul maso to take us through what has been happening today and the impact of the uncertainties of government and obviously you  -- resignation. >> when gordon brown made statement, the sterling slid a bit and the bond market barely moved. what they have seen since i think will not impress the markets. and bad people in those markets are expected to go a little bit negative tomorrow. perhaps more than a little bit. the reason, they don't li political instability and political lack of credibility and lack of resolve. also people who don't like  our credit rating agencies. they moved on the strength of one cabinet meeting against greece. they will wait to see what comes out of this. what they don't like specifically, they don't like the arithmetic of the lib l coalition refuge just heard there.
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it does not add up to a government. the next thing they don't like is to see center-right parties growing seemingly at will l cherished principles out the window in a single night, so does not just an antilabor thing although i think the bigger concern is the lack of the arithmetic there. we are braced tomorrow and i don't often say the markets won't like this but i think tomorrow they probably won't. >> let's look now at this massive, massive amount of mone >> the world is saved. >> but, is this going to do the business? >> we have got the details here $60 billion, cash up front to and stop portugal, spain  ireland if they wanted to-- fro going the way of greece. that is real money on the tab image-- much bigger some committed so the eurozone was four and 40 billion euros i terms of being able to staunch
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the whole system. $250 billion from the imf. that is important because it is another rubicon cross. this may have relevance if we don't have a government that gives its finances under contro here but the biggest thing they have done is to change the policy of the european central bank to effectively go into the market by bonds and thereby pum what we call liquidity, money into the system and we will hear from an expert on why that is so important. >> the ucd has orchestrated buying of government bonds. one national central bank is buying the government bonds and other central banks for example across the eurozone. this is akin to the u.k.'s stated easing and what this did today was absolutely coll that level in the cost of borrowing are countries like greece. greece would have been effectively paying nearly 12% for 10 years earlier today, but now the costs would effectively be 6%. >> but the cost of that achievement of getting things right with the euro, make n
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mistake about it is for north europe to impose conditions o south europe and the conditions are that it will effectively be fiscal government in your. we always tried towards a real economic government and the eurozone. >> thank you. earlier i spoke to the finance minister from france. i started by asking what her reaction was to gordon brown's announcement today. >> there is clearly a lot of excitement, a lot happening and it is a clear change of the guard. now you would expect me to sa something like that, wouldn't you? >> yes but which do you prefe do you prefer a coalition between conservative and li democrats or labour democrats and others? >> it is hard for me to prefer one or the other. it is for them to sort out what is best for the british people. >> is there not a danger though if there is a vacuum as these negotiations are going instability and at this very moment, and stability is presumed to be the last thing we all want.
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>> the action we took last nigh and over the week and actually following from the euro group head of state summit was clearl intended to restore stability and to avoid instability in financial markets and i think that, that is brought about a significant rally today and is certainly better for the economy to have stability than to have an stability. i don't know whether that translates into you know political equilibrium and the whole picture, but stability is better. >> alastair darlings seem to indicate that the united kingdom's exposure is around 8 billion. does that accord with your view >> it is for alastair to provide the appropriate level of da but it is a matter that we vastly addressed and tried to sort out from a euro group
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perspective and that was clearly indicated by alastair at the very beginning of v 11 or 12 hours meeting we had last night. it is for the euros to sort out the euro, not for us thank  are in much. >> do you think we are heading towards a fiscal government of europe? >> together with the financial package which i would not call  bailout because the bailout is intended for something that is falling apart, and this is t the case for the euro gro apart from that package, we hav two other aspects to it. one is what i call the fiscal consolidation. in other words the determination by all 16 members of the eurozone to restore public finance, to cut the deficit, to reduce the deficit entity that in a consistent converging manner. so that we can maintain that stability. the second chapter had to do with accelerating the financial regulation, which has to come
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about and has to bring predictability, stability and a bit more equity on those markets. >> we may be in a situation that this is not the last crisis, bu are we seeing now the possibility that the imf will step in and bailout other e.u. e.u. countries? >> b. echo finn, the g7, the g-20, the european central bank and the international monetary fund, all of them say collectively we want stabil, we want the euro be-- the e to be solid and stable. there was a clear response from the markets. i stuck to say the imf is going to step in each and every night. no. at but the imf is sayin board. i will be able to supportf need be and i will top up a european financing from the european stabilization funds by
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50%. that is another significant message. >> thank you very much christine. >> pleasure. >> how did the market-- in new york the dow jones closed more than 400 points. against the dollar the pound wa up more. gordon brown said the election was a judgment on him, but ther they are many who made their judgment on his record as prime minister a long time ago. gordon brown's political ambitions stretch back to h teenage years, driven he said by the social injustice he witnessed in company his  visits. his reputation is bad tempere or contrary was reinforced by his behavior. i'm joined by andrew and d. richards of the independent. first of all ander, will gordon brown go down as one of the tragic figures of the early 21st century? >> there was a tragedy that he himself put-- a vt
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prime minister all of my  ministers, and he always worrie that he would be like that as rose ski was too glad skin or chamberlain was deval plan. he won't be entirely tragic as some say self-inflicted tragedy but he joints that said categ who has never run an election in their own right. >> partly, but i agree with andrew. if you look back at his career he has been at the top of british politics. when he became chancellor in 1992, he was really big in the heat of the very top of british politics ever since. that is an epic amount of time and he was 11 years as chancellor. most labour chancellors don't survive very long. most leaders are waiting and don't become-- he was a chancellor for 11 years who then became a leader so it is an career, and there is tragedy an
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it famously, but it is much mor complex than that. >> i agree with that. on one hand as prime minister he led his party to the second worst defeat since 9018 but to be fair, they together took party that had lost four elections in a row and turn into one term absolutely unprecedented in labour history so taking his career he we seen as a unique chancellor i think in a very good chr broadly up until 2006 when he started to spend too much money >> look at what the papers say, [inaudible] one imagines unless there is a tory lib coalition. the independent sacrifice brown steps out to enable a deal with the liberal democrats. brown to quit in a bid to win over liberal democrats and the liberal democrats it was a deal breaker. a squalid day for democracy.
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well of course you know he was very good at that maneuveri wasn't he? >> was very interesting, one of his made-- aide said to m always had some kind of age to play during it. it turned out to be his own resignation. very cleverly timed. if it comes off, still a huge if, it will be quite a remarkable resignation that becomes a game-changer  a profound way. >> in the midst of that announcement, he dropped the line former negotiations are taking place with the lib dem >> yes he did of course and if he pulls it off he would pull to september. looking at the premiership with the exception of the financial crisis, where i am one of tho who give them a lot of credit, he did lead the world and recapitalization taking a big gamble when the americans and
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europeans were ready to do it but the tragedy of his premiership and the surprise to many of his friends as he never seemed to find an overarching narrative for it, a purpose and as a result-- speak h for too long, and he was only forced into the style of cabine government. >> he had quite an awkward inheritance actually, which would need 10 hours to look at. but he never a thing thankfully found his public ministerial boys. there were obviously the famous behind-the-scenes tensions chronicled in his latest book. and of course he has faced a whole range of crises, not entirely brought on by himself including the economic one actually. parliamentary spends a whole range of things and also of course it was at the end of government which have been around for a heck of a long time. people had ambitions. it was a difficult time to get it i think.
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>> having said that if there ha been another leader in place going to the selection, given the legacy of iraq, afghanistan the economy, expense scandal. >> it is true. the labour party may route that it did not have a contest t he wouldn't have had this elected prime minister hu around his next quite so negatively. another thing which gordon brow and other colleagues are responsible for, he had three years. he could have been quick run constitutional reform and try t introduce a be already in labour might my been a better position to go-- do a coalition. >> who will be the next leader of the labour party? >> let's see who throws their hats into the ring. >> look says it will be david miliband, david olds and a couple of others including david's brother might be in there as well but it is very early on. >> thank you both very much. that is all from newsnight. join us for deal or no deal to
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more night, same time, same place. good night. >> well we can presume to replace justice stevens wisdom or experience, i have selected a nominee who i believe embodies that same excellence, independence, integrity and passion for the love and who can ultimately provide that same kind of leadership on the court. our solicitor general and myna . >> learn more about the nation's highest court from those who have served on the bench. and c-span's latest book, the supreme court, pages of candid conversation with all the justices, active and retired providing unique insight about the supreme court available now in hardcover and also as an e-book.
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>> now the commander of u.s. forces in afghanistan. general stanley mcchrystal is joined by ambassador karl eikenberry. also in this briefing, white house press secretary robert gibbs on the selection of solicitor general elena kagan as the president second supreme court nominee. this is about one hour.
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>> lester, good afternoon. where is general mcchrystal? he already stuck over there. my apologies. they are not used to me being on time. [laughter] weirdly, the two took two minutes. it looks like everybody is in the wrong ceded seat at the baseball game. i did 50 push-ups right before i came in. everybody said?
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hold on. you know, normally i wouldn't bill, but i'm feeling charitable on monday. everybody else. you are quite welcome. we figured since it was a slow news day here at the white house and in preparation for president karzai's visit later in the week, we are lucky to have two individuals with us, ambassador karl eikenberry, it are ambassador chino to afghanistan and general stanley mcchrystal the commander of the international security assistance force in commander of u.s. forces in afghanistan. oath will give a statement and we will answer a few questions and get back to them. >> thanks. i am pleased to be here this week to participate in president karzai's visit to the united states. i would like to start by recognizing the courage and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.
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it is my honor to represent them here today, and to provide you with a brief overview of their efforts in afghanistan. i am also encouraged by the efforts of u.s. civilians in afghanistan. and it's good to be here today with my colleague and friend, karl eikenberry. our strategic priority is the development of the afghan national army and police, the forces that ultimately secure afghanistan. much work lies ahead to mature this force, but its growth is largely on track. are operational priority lies in securing the southern part of afghanistan, an area that includes kandahar, the spiritual center of the taliban, and helmand, and economic hub for the injured and see. 10 months ago, we began a series of operations into taliban controlled parts of helmand river valley, expanding the afghan government influence into
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these critical areas. this year, building on the progress of this operation, we have continued that expansion. in february, the first first of the time-- 2010 uplift forces approved by president obama partnered with afghans to secure parts of central helmand that had remained under the control of the taliban. with additional arriving forces, we will reinforce ongoing efforts to secure kandahar, an environment that is uniquely complex and will require a unique solution. this effort is being led by the afghans and will focus on a complex political and governance aspects of kandahar. these dimensions are the at the heart of the problem, and their solution will ultimately be decisive. our efforts in afghanistan or ultimately about changing the perceptions of people. afghans long impact the conflict and struggle believe more of
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what they see and what they hear. only when they experience security from coercion and only when they benefit from better governance will they begin to believe in the possibilities of the future. this is a process that takes time. able demand courage and resilience. they will encounter increased violence as their combined security forces expand into taliban controlled areas. increasingly, the momentum will shift to the afghan forces. overtime, security responsibilities will transition to the afghans. seeing clearly the challenges in front of us, i have confidence that our campaign plan will succeed. thank you. >> good afternoon. i would like to offer some brief
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comments myself to complement those of my friend and partner in afghanistan over many years, general stan mcchrystal. like stan, i'd like to start by recognizing that courage in the sacrifice of our men and women in our armed forces, those of coalition and afghan forces, and their civilian counterparts, which now include those from 13 united states government department and agencies. our combined civilian military team in afghanistan is one that we are proud of and very humbled to lead. president obama strategy directs our combined team to break the momentum of the taliban, to protect the afghan people and help build essential afghan government capacity. the afghans must take the lead in their own security and governance in order to defeat and preclude the return to the afghanistan of al qaeda and their terrorist allies. together, we are stabilizing in
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secure areas while helping enable afghan institutions, which have been devastated by decades of turmoil, reclaim complete leadership of their people security. we cannot succeed in afghanistan by military means alone. as well, our civilian mission cannot succeed without the contributions of the military. accordingly, our efforts have been redesigned and transformed over the past year. our civilian presence has more than tripled now over the past year to over 1000 people with a far greater percentage of those personnel being assigned to locations outside of kabul, where they serve as members of an integrated civilian military teams with units from our nato isaf allies and our own forces. our embassy and our mission of organizations have been restructured so that we can achieve better unity of effort among our very diverse group of civilian diplomats, development
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specialist, agriculture experts and law-enforcement agents on the ground. and finally, we have reprioritize their developmental programs and tailor them to effectively address that which is essential for success in afghanistan, with particular emphasis on agriculture, key government services, critical infrastructure and essential aspects of the rule of law. we are confident that we are much better posture to help deliver the progress needed in the months ahead or go in governance, we have seen president karzai make some very important decisions about how to carry the parliamentary elections forward. and following the karzai administration's commitments to the international community made in january in london, the government's chief anticorruption body-- is called the high office of oversight-- has now been given new powers by presidential decree and connect with more autonomy. we have recently seen
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high-profile public corruption trials taking place in kabul. briefly, regarding the visit to the united states of president karzai and key members of his cabinet, you are aware of the extensive preparations that have been made by both sides in anticipation of this very important event. and there will be serious dialogues in the days ahead on far ranging issues, including how to best deliver on our government's commitment to help accelerate the strengthening of afghans security and judicial institutions. and discussions will also cover our combined strategy to bring peace and security to afghanistan, longer-term bilateral relations, shared responsibility behind efforts to improve accountability and the performance of the afghan government and the growth of the afghan economy and sustainable ways. i just landed this morning at andrews air force base having a company president karzai and his
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ministers on their very long flight from kabul, which included stops in amsterdam and gone dark, canada as the u.s. air force crew moving us towards andrews expertly worked their way around the volcanic ash clouds. having spent much flight time in serious conversation with the afghan ministers of foreign affairs, defense, finance, interior, education, agriculture, mining, health and labour and social affairs, almost all of them, my friends over many years now, i can say that the united states and the afghan governments have never been better aligned and had such seriousness of purpose in trying to reach our common objectives. president karzai told me as we were flying away from gander, that he has high hopes for his visit here and he looks forward to discussing afghan american relations from the perspectives of security, governance, development and long-term should teach it harder ship. this visit comes, as you well no, during a year of
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consequence. this visit will be followed by a consultative peace jirga in kabul at the end of may when president karzai will meet with his people to build national consensus on how to proceed with reintegration and reconciliation that in turn will be followed by a kabul conference in july and then parliamentarian elections in september, both of which will be important political events for the afghan people during this pivotal year. and as we move forward in afghanistan, we are facing daunting challenges. general mcchrystal a moment ago mentioned some of those that are found on the security front, and there are others of course in the areas of governance and economic development as well. our two governments will frankly address these challenges in the next few days, with an eye on developing common solutions, with confidence that we have now been necessary resources, the appropriate strategy and the national will to make continued
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progress. thank you. >> i have a the question breach gentleman. general mcchrystal, you've been very outspoken in your views about civilian casualties in afghanistan and how that has hurt the u.s. mission there. as i am sure you know, faisal shahzad, who was just arrested for the times square bombing, one of the reasons supposedly given as how upset he is about drone attacks in pakistan. and while i know there is a limited amount of anything you can discuss about what is going on across the border in pakistan, are you confident that civilian casualties in pakistan are kept to the same minimum that they are being kept under your new order in afghanistan? >> i obviously can't address things in pakistan. my ritz goes to the border between afghanistan and pakistan. i can tell you that the inside afghanistan the importance of reducing those casualties to convince the afghan people that we are here for their welfare is
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absolutely strategic and so we give at that level of effort. >> do you think the president karzai is an adequate strategic partner? >> president obama has expressed his confidence in president karzai and our work together. as you know, every relationship, every bilateral relationship, especially one that is as close as we have with afghanistan, they experience ups and downs. but what measures true partnership is the ability, when the stakes are as high as they are for afghanistan and the united states of america, to be able to work our way through difficulties and come back together and still find yourselves well aligned. i think that the visit that's coming up here, that begins this evening, the talks over the next several days, think were going to emerge with even better alignment. >> general, a question for both of you please. can or should the united states live with a future afghan
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government that has representatives-- senior leadership of the taliban and is a time to start having a conversation about what that government might look like now, during president karzai's visit? >> certainly the topic of reintegration and reconciliation is one that will be high on this week's agenda. i think there's clarity right now between our two governments about what the common principle should be as afghanistan moves forward with reconciliation. those principles, i think, are well-known. those principles are that anybody who would come back to the fold of afghan society and to be received back by the people in and the government of afghanistan, they would have to renounce the use of violence. they would have to have severed any ties with al qaeda and international terrorist. and they would have to have respect for the afghan constitution and following it of course with respect to the
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afghan constitution is respect for the very great rights that are enshrined in that constitution. >> can i asked the general to follow-up? you are a student of counterinsurgency. will that work and can people who renounce violence and sever ties with al qaeda effectively lead in afghanistan as you know it? >> historically i think the most important thing is that we first get an afghan solution crafted by afghans and second that it be inclusive and it feels there to everyone, that everybody has the opportunity to reintegrate, to reintegrate in or rejoin the political process so i think those are the key points. and i agree with everything else carl said. >> general, this is a question for both of you again. this is about your recent meeting with general kayani. pakistanis to do more against the ttp and your recent meeting with general kayani was roped into that as well. it strikes me as a bit strange
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in that until recently the concern about pakistan was exact opposite and that too much focus is the non-ttp and none of it is the enemy said he would have focused on. can you clarify what u.s. policy is towards pakistan when it comes to ttp and did that come up in your conversation with general kayani? >> there was an unfortunate new story that came out that was completely inaccurate that represented that i expressed to general kayani u.s. policy on doing more, and that just didn't happen. it was a one-on-one meeting and did not occur in i made it clear to general kayani that i did not represent it that way. i think is important we understand that the insurgency based by the pakistan, the ttp, is an essential threat. i mean it is a significant threat to their country and it is complementary to what afghanistan faces so it was the two nations with a common problem. the afghan taliban and ttp are distinct but they are not completely unrelated or go therefore it is important we
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sink our two campaigns together. that is why spend a lot of time with general kayani, who is a good partner. >> is not accurate to say the bulk of the pakistani efforts thus far has been on the ttp, most of the division is in south waziristan and the massoud tribe is that not accurate to say? >> it is interesting but most people don't understand the scope of the ttp. it has been large and it has been costly. they have lost a lot of soldiers and a significant campaign that has been waged very well. i think it is good when we get a chance to understand the major effect-- effort that they have made. >> i had a question for both gentleman. general mcchrystal you have been described as the official in the u.s. government who has perhaps the best relationship with president karzai. to what you attributed to and what sort of advice do you have your colleagues? than i have one for for general eikenberry. >> i think that i am one of the people with a good relationship
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with president karzai and i think it is important that each of us have a good relationship but also distinctly different or go mine is is a military commander and as they support a wartime commander-in-chief, president karzai i think it's important that i have an effective, candid, responsible relationship and i've been real happy with it thus far. >> general eikenberry i just like to get back to jake's question. are the concerns that you have talked about in the past, about whether president karzai is an adequate strategic partner, have those been delayed? do you no longer have those concerns? >> president karzai is elected the elected president of afghanistan. afghanistan is a close friend and ally and of course i highly respect president karzai in that capacity. >> so your concerns have been not-- not been allayed?
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>> you mentioned some things that the president has taken steps against corruption. is that going to satisfied you, the steps he is taking her dizzy dean to do more and this is going to come up in the talks as this week? >> of course increasing the accountability of the government of afghanistan, that is certainly on the agenda. president karzai when he started his second term in office, beginning with his inaugural speech, as he said at the london conference, he emphasized that it would be a pillar of his second term in office. and there has been progress that has been made there. as i mentioned earlier, the announcement of the high office of oversight giving executive decrees. there are promising signs. ultimately though, the customer that has to be satisfied is the people of afghanistan. gets high on their agenda right now. but the united states government, i know our administration is in full support a president karzai's's efforts are enough to make
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improvements there. much has to be done. >> the one question for each. general, there've been mixed reports about iran possibly helping with arms to the taliban. can you give us an assessment of a role, if any, iran is playing, arming the enemy? >> i think iran's reach into afghanistan first, is fairly legitimate. most of what they do, they provide money, they target certain elements, education whatnot. there is evidence, intelligence, that indicates some malign activity as well. some training of insurgents, taliban and of shipments of some levels of arms. but they are not significant in the numbers and they have not been enough to change the basic calculus of the fight at this point. >> ambassador, let me try again in a different way on this question about president karzai and your skepticism. are you less skeptical now of his plan-- this plan going
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forward and the search based on things you've seen president karzai do, promises he is kept, not only may but they be kept that made you less skeptical than apparently you were four months ago? >> no, i've got cautious optimism that we are making progress right now in an array of areas that are critical to our combined success with afghanistan. we are having military success the general mcchrystal has talked about. we are having success in terms of working with the government on the basis of partnership to steadily improve the capacity and the accountability of the government. we are making great success in trying to come up with ways to make progress in the economy. so, i think we are making progress. >> you are skeptical of those successes before? >> we are going to let these guys get back to work or go to any of the-- thank you vote for coming by. >> why are we in afghanistan? can you tell the american people?
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>> you have before, and i'll--. >> why are we there? is it worth all the killing and dying? >> palin, we know that leading up to september 11, 2001, this was the area in which, along with the border region in pakistan where the attacks on this country were planned. >> why? >> way where the attacks planned? i can understand-- answer that. >> why are we there nine years, killing and dying? >> we are there in order to ensure that al qaeda and its extremist allies are not allowed to combat. >> why would they want to if we have not taken revenge against us being there? >> we are doing everything in our power to prevent their ability to combat. >> do you think that is really true? >> i do.
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>> i do. how do we want to start today? do you guys have any questions on any topic that are burning a hole. >> at like to carry on with the afghan topic if i may. it wasn't just a few weeks ago robert that he they were telling us you had grave concerns about what hamid karzai was saying, his remarks about--'s be right. i beg your pardon? his remarks about the west being responsible for election fraud and maybe even joining the taliban out of frustration. how did he possibly allay concerns to the point where able to have this meeting go forward? >> this meeting has been scheduled for a while and mark, as you heard the two gentlemen before me say, president karzai is the duly elected leader of a sovereign country of afghanistan. they are our partner in this battle against al qaeda and its extremist allies. you, and i said this the other day, president karzai has outlined a series of things that
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have to happen in his government, both in his inaugural address and at london. again, things you heard these two individuals mentioned. the president talked to president karzai when he was elected on things that he had to do. so, we are going to continue to work with them to improve security, as you heard general mcchrystal say. the ultimate solution for afghan security is with the afghans, first and foremost. we will continue to work with them and make clear the issues on governance, corruption, and accountability and that we also believe are part of afghanistan's long-term security. we think president karzai understands the steps that must be taken to strengthen that, and i think that will be discussed throughout his time in washington this week. >> you just shrug off remarks like what he made? >> no, get i think the president--. >> you are saying he doesn't mean to many more?
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>> again, he is the leader of afghanistan. he is our partner. we are going to work with them to improve the security and governance in afghanistan. we will laud the president when he does things that we believe are both in our interest and in their interest. and we will work with them to make improvements on issues like governance and corruption that we know have to be dealt with, again in order to provide that long-term security. >> not to belabor the point i did he say to you look, don't worry about those remarks. that was just for internal politics? >> i think the president discussed in an interview that that could be the reason some of that stuff was that. >> robert, one on afghanistan and one on the court. ambassador eikenberry was saying one of the goals in afghanistan is to break the taliban. how does that square with officials of this administration just yesterday going on sunday
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shows and saying the taliban and -- behind the attack in and at times square? >> i want to stress what they set up here, which there are some similarities. let's not confuse them. >> but how can you say things are going well when the american people are seeing attacks from that region being planned and plotted? >> it is not the taliban writ large. we are talking about two distinct, two distinct entities. i think what general mcchrystal and ambassador eikenberry were talking about are our we have made improvements in the security on the ground, in and around marjah. the shaping of starting and continuing on what has to happen in kandahar. we have seen, and the president has been briefed and i think general mcchrystal made mention of the steady but sure progress in training and reap retaining an afghan national army and
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police, and some improvements that ambassador eikenberry mentioned on the governance side. but, i think it was characterized and i think i characterized it this way last thursday after the meeting that was have the situation room, that progress is steady but slow, and i think that is likely to continue. >> can i ask about the cord? >> can we stay on afghanistan? >> you want to stay on afghanistan? >> the ambassador mentioned a piece jirga coming later this month. what does the u.s. want to see out of that specifically? >> i know that's going to be a topic of discussion will get a chance to talk about it after the two leaders talk about it. >> alright, a follow-up then. the ambassador also mentioned the need to improve accountability. what needs to happen that demonstrates that? >> again, there are a series of things that president karzai has outlined.
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there are things that we have asked for. not all of which i'm going to get into. >> can you give a couple of examples? >> i would point you to what ambassador eikenberry talked about in terms of improving the run-up to parliamentary elections as important steps for the government. >> given the fact that everything we have heard this morning suggest that this is definitely a work in progress and eshoo said, not going all that quickly, what confidence do you have it by the time american troops are ready to leave, according to the schedule laid out by the president, that you'll have rule of law, but you'll have a cohesive police and responsible army? >> , the plan that was, the plan that the president worked through over the course of many months last fall and winter, and what he approved additional forces for sets out a plan for,
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both in working with ambassador eikenberry and others, improvements in governance, improvements and in corruption and accountability and in steps. >> but you are up against a timeline, which is very short. >> again, i think the progress in getting our additional forces and is on track. we are making, as i think i appropriately said, steady but slow progress. bill, we didn't think this was going to happen overnight. this has been something bad, as helen mentioned, has been going on for a number of years. i might add under resourced for almost that entire time so we are making up for an effort, as i said, that i think the president believes was an adequately resourced in past. but, we have a plan both on the security and the governance side to make progress leading up to the point in which the president believes our troops will begin coming home.
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>> robert, two quick ones. what is the president's position on reconciliation with taliban, number one? >> again i'm i am not going to get into that end up. i'm not going to get into the president's perspective on that. >> how does walid karzai, president karzai's younger brother fed within any metrics of evaluating movement away from corruption and? >> i would say there's a whole host of things in which we are working with a team is working with president karzai and throughout levels of government of afghanistan to make progress. >> so it fits into that evaluation? >> i'm not going to get into specifics. >> we were briefed a while ago about the likelihood of a kandahar operation sometime in june. is that deadline for that date slipping any because of the lack of afghan willingness to participate? >> not that i have heard. i would say this. the way a lot of this was
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described and we talked about it in the meeting last week, was you are not-- this was not going to be something-- i'm trying to phrase this the right way. you are not going to see something that you might think of as a traditional military exercise. this is going to take some time. there won't be, as was mentioned in the meeting, there won't be some d-day like moment. >> no frontal assault on monday. >> yad, and i think that speaks to the importance of in the preparation that general mcchrystal and others have undertaken in order to shape this. >> can you state the goals of that operation? >> i think general mcchrystal outlined them. i think we are obviously-- he mentioned the importance of kandahar and returning it in the area to one of security and good
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governance. >> thank you robert. the center for american progress, a group that's not too unfriendly towards the administration, put out a report this morning on afghanistan. they said the obama administration officials "need greater clarity of purpose in defining the in-state goals to achieve coherence in american policy towards afghanistan and that the administration objectives in the next two to five year. map there are vague." i mean if your friends are saying this, do you think you are having trouble communicating what your and state is in afghanistan? >> david, i not surprisingly didn't spend the morning reading that. it was by all accounts a fairly busy morning. i am happy to look at dad and have-- figure out what their notion is. >> do you think that you communicated a clear idea of what the administration wants in term of a state-- and in state in afghanistan in the next two
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to five years? >> i think again, we are making progress on that. again david, i am happy to take a look at that and see. >> annual review of operations in march, operation moshtarak what lessons have you learned that you hope to apply toward kandahar especially in reference to the civilian military coordination? >> let me-- i'm going to direct it over to isaf. i should not be speaking specific way about military operations except to say, as i said earlier to major's question this is something that will fundamentally look a lot different than what we have seen in the past. >> robert, to get back to mark's line of questioning actually, you must admit that president karzai has not made any of the statements for a while. these kinds of statements that would seem to cause an alarm in the administration for a while.
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>> he hasn't made them in a while? i would probably agree with that i don't know what they-- awkward pause. >> why not? >> why not? again, look, i can't speak to the reason of why those were made. i can only speak to the relationship that we have, the rations that that we have with any partner. you are going to agree on something then you are going to disagree on others. we have that type of partnership. we understand i think what has to be done from a security and a governance perspective, and we will continue to work with our partner to make sure that happens. >> robert, does the administration have any specific plan or looking into the end of this year, and going to next
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year, to actually assess the progress on the ground? you emphasize to congress many times that this is all going to be driven by the progress that you see taking place. >> i don't have any of them with me that look, there are reports that go up to report on the status of our efforts, again, i'm both a security and civilian side. as general mcchrystal said, and as he told the president last week, obviously the pacing of our events there will increase as more of our troops flow in on the security side. you heard heard ambassador eikenberry and look, one of the big things that the president, really dating back to early in the administration in meetings in the first few months on afghanistan, was our strong desire to see a greater push on
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the civilian side through the state department and other agencies that can impact what is happening on the ground, understanding that general mcchrystal-- what general mcchrystal does to clear an area and hold an area that has to be built on why the civilian side. so, this is a process that involves both increase security and improved governance. >> ambassador eikenberry, he characterized the disagreements as ups and downs. you said they were disagreements. i mean what president karzai said was pretty inflammatory stuff and inflammatory enough that you intimated at one point that the visit might be canceled. >> i think, well i don't recall exactly everything i said at that time period map.
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>> we can show you. >> do you have sam's quote? >> not right in front of me. >> the visit was on this plan. >> is this something the president will be looking to clear the air over the next couple of days? >> well look, i've got to tell you i'm not entirely sure the president is going to be hugely focused on what was said six or eight weeks ago, and instead focused on, first and foremost, the improvements that were made in the days after that again, in terms of planning for parliamentary elections and a step steps that we have to take -- that have to take place over the course of the next several months and years to make progress. >> the president is not going to want to discuss and clear the air on this? >> we will have a chance to talk about what the president says after the president says it again sam, our focus is on moving forward. our focus is on a partnership
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that allows our troops to treat afghans. as they said they are the ultimate security solution that we are able to establish a level , a base level of governance that will allow us to come home. that is what the focus will be. >> robert, trust is an essential part of any relationship and this administration i guess trusted karzai before he said it and then when he said it, what he said and backtracked, taking it back and forth for those weeks and what you said from the podium is there seem to be a lack of trust. now how is everything forgiven and is moving forward? >> no, no you guys. i will try to do this one more time. they are going to be times in which-- there will be many times in which we agree and there will be many times in which we disagree. i think if you look at virtually every bilateral relationship we have in the world, i doubt there is one in which we agree on everything that is done and said
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on one side. i certainly-- one does not come to mind. again, i think the president has been enormously clear on this, that there are steps that we have to take both insecurity and on the civilian side. we will log the steps that they taken the steps that need to be taken in order to improve either on the security side or on the governance side. we will work with them to make sure they happen. ..
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same initio. have you identified the pakistani as those behind the bombing? secretary of state warren they must do more to go after them. we heard the general said the pakistanis are doing a better job. i'm having a hard time with the administration once the pakistanis to do in terms of the times square bombing. >> i think we have -- we are pleased with the level of cooperation we've got them from the pakistani government. we have a partnership with them and we have seen them for the
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first time in the last year take on the threat that existed within their country that they had not addressed in quite some time, so again, i'm not going to get into specifics about the investigation. that will come if we desire to talk about them more from the department of justice. i would characterized our relationship as good and i would characterize one of the things that has happened over the course of the past year as a far greater cooperation between the two governments and pleased with that continued cooperation. >> senator clinton said in the 60 minutes interview did we not find the perpetrators in afghanistan behind this would be a bad thing and they have to do more. >> i think the pakistani government recognizes the threat it poses to them just as we recognize the threat it poses to
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us. i think there is without a doubt an alignment of interest and understanding where the threat is and what it was -- what it poses. >> thank you. when the president was in afghanistan, he had a very clear and straightforward message for president karzai. what do you think now this time with different message he will have for president karzai, and also if any message for the miss led to a young people in afghanistan and pakistan, but? >> welcome a look on the first part i think the president -- i think both presidents understand what they face, and i think we will have a very clear conversation about what's gone on and what has to have been moving forward. i think again, we understand the trajectory of defense the need to take place over the course of the next many months, the importance of what's coming in
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kandahar. but understanding, again, as i said, because i think -- i don't want to divorce the two issues, and understanding what general mcchrystal squeezers and what he and the afghan national security forces squier and hold has to be built upon, that we can't -- we're not going to be able to do that without the clear guidance of unproved governments. and that's -- that will be our focus. >> thanks, robert. there was an extreme violence today in iraq; more than 80 civilians were killed. i am curious as to whether there is in any way affecting the u.s. mission to afghanistan, whether it affects the endgame for the mission in afghanistan. >> none that i've heard. i will check again with nsc and see if there are developments on that. >> do you have a comment though about what occurred in iraq today?
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>> well, look, we have always known and planned for that in a period of governor when formation that those who file in tikrit slowly diminished over several years that they would make one last charge of trying to foment violence and chaos. the vice president has been working on the political situation there and we continue to believe we are making progress. they're making progress on the ground in terms of a government. >> following the conversations with european leaders this weekend, is the president satisfied that enough has been done over there to contain the debt crisis? and how much concern was there this weekend over here that was going on in europe and could imperil the u.s. recovery?
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>> well, we -- i will say the president and his economic team have been falling and have been engaged in this situation for quite some time. as you know, we discussed calls the president made both on friday and over the course of the weekend to our european counterparts about the importance of taking strong action to give confidence and to stabilize the situation. and i think we are pleased thus far with the result. yes, sir. >> quickly back to afghanistan, robert. everybody puts a lot of emphasis on training the afghan forces. how do the president and his advisers judge the reluctance of nato members to send more troops and trainers and combat forces? >> look, we have been pleased with the contributions that have come from nato and isaf. this is a threat not just -- what could happen in afghanistan
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is not simply a threat to one country, but to countries throughout the world. we are pleased with the contributions that have been made. and it allows us to continue to do the work that we are doing. >> robert, just two questions. >> should we talk up the supreme court for a few minutes? do you guys have any questions on that? [laughter] >> this thing is going to take hours for us. i don't -- go ahead, i'm sorry. islamic is there any plans for ms. kagan to step down sooner from her post as solicitor general to avoid as many recusals as possible if she gets on the high court? >> look, she will continue to -- first and foremost, i think we
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talked about when we get a schedule for her coming to the hill, which we anticipate will likely be later this week we will let you all know. she will also obviously began prepping for a very important hearings, which we hope will result, obviously, in her confirmation. and we hope that -- and expected that the timetable is such that the confirmation what happened prior to the senate leaving for recess in august. >> she will continue to do work that she has already been involved in, and though solicitor general's office. and i think that bill -- spasso if she has already been involved, she will stick with it. she will take on and nothing new -- >> she will take on no additional -- she's not going to
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take on new work. and obviously the president had to make a decision similar to the past presidents that have tapped solicitor general's to serve on the high court. i think i've seen the commentators very familiar with the potential caseload that the next supreme court term is likely to include. next year i think we anticipate recusal in about a dozen cases, and then maybe less than half of that in the year after that. so obviously if there is work that she's done on behalf of the administration and her client from the american people that come before the court she well as others have recused herself. >> can i follow on the recusal question? for any of those cases given serious consideration in terms of what factor recusal might have on them? >> malcolm wiener of camano. >> robert, just a couple questions about solicitor general ms. kagan. could you explain how somebody
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who has spent almost her entire career, if not her entire career working in the federal law from it as a harvard and understanding of how wall affects real people? >> i think if you judge her background she was -- she has worked in the white house. she has worked for judges. she has worked for people like ab mikva, thurgood marshall. i think as -- she is somebody who as you heard the president say first and foremost a thing she understands how the law works and how it impacts every day people. i think she's somebody who has a diversity of experience that is an important plus the president looked at. she is somebody who currently serves in what some have called the tenth -- as the tenth justice. she represents the american people before the supreme court. so i think she is -- i think she has a diversity of experience
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that allows her to understand how wall works and how it impacts the people of this country. >> i guess the question is where does she see how all -- i mean i don't mean this sarcastically but it's not like she was a community organizer in chicago. when did she see how wall directly impacted real people? >> as a clerk. as somebody who worked in the counsel's office. as somebody who worked in the policy of this year the white house. as somebody who has argued in front of the supreme court on behalf of the interest of this -- of her poignant now, the american people. i don't -- look, jake, i don't think there is one thing that you can do that necessarily provides you with the wisdom of what you speak. i think having somebody with a diversity of experience -- look, the president heard from a lot of people. you all asked me about the fact that what does it have to do to
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somebody of sight of what may be referred to as the judicial monastery, somebody who comes at things looking at them from a slightly different angle. >> and then my ever question is she's been criticized in her position as the dean of harvard when she reinstated a ban on military recruiters using the office -- >> office of career services. >> -- office of career services, thank you. and i was stunned when, the president is somebody who has both worked in universities and also as a commander in chief tried to balance "don't ask, don't tell." does he have any, compunction about what all schools did when they removed military recruiters as somebody who is now in charge of the military? >> i think what's important to understand, jake, is as you hear people describe this -- these series of activities i think it is important to understand that
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there was never a pause in military recruitment at harvard law school. they were not afforded access as part of the office of career service, but through the veterans office they have access to students at harvard law school. and in 2005, in fact, more harvard law school graduates than an any of the preceding year straus military service from something that the solicitor general has lauded students for and the military in general for the safety and security that they provide her and of the american people. >> does the president want to water down miranda? >> no -- you're referring to what the attorney general talked about? the attorney general i believe spoke on sunday about looking at ways to ensure that miranda is -- which is an important tenet in our law -- this flexible in the questioning of those involved in terrorism.
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we think we have -- >> flexible -- is he caving in on the principal -- >> no, helen, we've been lectured by many -- and i am not implying that a few -- we've been lectured by many on the other side of the political judgment of those not in the room when very experienced terrorism interrogators are speaking with either abdulmutallab or shahzad. and i think that -- and the president intends to strongly oppose that.
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>> can you tell about the oil spill meeting this afternoon? is the president running out of patience with efforts to plug the leaks? >> welcome the president well, in the situation from and about five to seven minutes, is going to sit down with relevant cabinet members and senior white house staff to review bp's efforts to stop the leak, to discuss the next steps that need to be taken to ensure that all is being done both to do that and contain the spread it and mitigate the environmental and economic impacts that would ensure from it. >> look, mark, obviously the president would like any of the actions that have been taken to have thus far worked. we understood -- and i think bp was somewhat out front on the notion that the chances of the containment dome working work, i think they said, one in three chance he will be brief bong -- further briefed on where we are
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on that. as i understand it, the dome now sits several hundred yards away from the active balk, as they seek solutions for dealing with dehydrates that have been formed inside the containment dome that have made what they hoped would be something that could cap and vacuum the oil, me kate -- that that would be successful. some people go through -- the senior administration officials will go through that with him and will talk of a whole host of issues. and time permitting, i will have a real of that. >> robert, just to questions -- >> will donner, just calm down. >> real quick, what's the schedule for naming a new solicitor general if she's not going to take on new work? do you have the schedule yet?
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>> non-that i'm currently aware of camano. >> okay. following up on jake come in addition to what happened at harvard, she also signed a friend-of-the-court brief on a case called ferre versus rumsfeld which was a challenge to solomon mn to tracks as for military recruiters and all u.s. campuses. supreme court signed the solomon amendment and the military readiness says two things. what happened in harvard and filing the court brief makes her appointment an affront to the u.s. military. [inaudible] >> first and foremost a think it's important -- you left of a few things in your series of events: one, a circuit court ruling that was opposite that of the supreme court before the case, rightly came to the supreme court. and i just don't do that could didn't know if you left that out for some reason. and then secondly -- >> just making a short question.
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[laughter] >> lester will get a chance to comment on the brevity of the situation. [laughter] i think that -- look, don't take their word for it, take the word of those that have gone to harvard law school, that have seen her -- the support that she's given to those that have joined them about to become a brave young men and women that have served our country that have gone to harvard but speak of the dedication that she had both to the school and to our military. i think they are -- i think they speak of her dedication and like anybody else can. >> for the record, i also left of the fact that the court ruled 8-0 against her amicus brief. just to set the record straight. >> again onshore in the -- indifference to their overall brevity of your line of questioning. sprick robert, one of the things
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republicans have been saying about elena kagan is to compare her in terms of the lack of judicial experience to harriet miers. what do you think of those comparisons? >> well, again, i would have to look at the full background of her record. again? ships for ab mikva; clerkship for thurgood marshall; teaching at the university of chicago; work in the counsel's office here; work at the domestic policy committee here; nominated for a federal judgeship, which might have happened were it not for a filibuster on her votes. and the notion that she received a strong bipartisan vote for being the solicitor general, for being the person that represented the interest of the american people and the
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government as they argued in front of the supreme court. i don't -- i got to tell you i don't understand. i have a hard time understanding the analogy. >> they're suggesting that she'd be a rubber-stamp in the same way that harriet miers was allegedly have been a rubber stamp. >> well, nothing but we'd never be able to compare, either i think in double that of their reza may or i think the impact of the court. >> did the issue of her religion ever come up? >> no. >> did the president ever look at -- >> no, no the president -- >> -- religious mix on the court? and does that concern him? >> look, ausley -- when we did one of the briefings earlier today, i think it's important to
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understand the president -- this is the president's second pick of the nine that currently serves on the court. one certainly confirmed last year that it's his picked. so again, the president has not chosen all the members of the supreme court. i will just say that the president has looked for a diversity of experience, somebody that brings a unique perspective. i am not aware of the notion of her religion coming up at any time. sam. >> a very brief question -- just two very brief questions. >> hold on, hold on, hold on. i'm not going anywhere. sam? >> thank you. >> don't worry, lester, despite that sour look on your face i'm going to get over here. >> [inaudible] [laughter] >> yes it was. it's not now because you're smiling but everybody is looking. [laughter] >> the solicitor general was
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quote and i think back in '95 colin the confirmation proceedings hollow at substance less. i'm wondering what you like to see her by baltimore information during confirmation hearings? would you like to see her asked and we feel opinions about places that she'd stand out and -- in line with this opinion that she expressed, was it 15 years ago? >> well, sam, i would point you to answer that -- but answers that she gave last year during her own confirmation process to the solicitor general and -- in which she understood differently, from the perspective of a staffer, the perspective that a nominee can and must take during the confirmation process. so i would point you to what she said. april. >> robert, on kagan, how much did the issue of the age we in on the president's decision? because early on before the process really even started when he talked to the black ministers, they asked about the next supreme court. he said the issue of age was important because it is hard to
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find some in their 40's and 50's who have the supreme court pedigree. can you talk about how age weighed in on this? >> i will go back and ask those involved more closely than on in the process. i think not having the ages of all of those in front of me i think many of them were within the same age range. i think others were in their mid-50s -- i'm talking to the president looked at were largely all in the same age range. sprick also, could you define it liberal progressive band also could you define -- could you tell us if this pick reflects the president's judiciary philosophy, judicial philosophy? >> the president -- i'm going to say this, i think the president
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selected the person that he believes is the best pick available, the person he would like to see serf next on the supreme court. i'm not going to get into the definition of labels. >> robert come on the question of judicial experience again, the lack of -- to the administration consider that in viewing the different candidates an asset or liability for elena kagan? the fact that she had not served on the bench? >> i think the president again looked for somebody that had served many different roles. i think -- but i will say this. the president did not eliminate, as you can tell, anybody that didn't come from a judgeship and i think if you look back at the the history of judicial selection or and sorry, selection to the supreme court there have been notable
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selections but didn't royce directly from the judgeships, the last being william rehnquist who was then ultimately elevated to chief justice. speck on the other side was it seen as an asset because without the one the bench she doesn't have a long paper trail therefore it could be more easily confirmed. spinet know, again, the president -- the president was picking the best candidate, not the best candidate with a small paper trail or the best candidate that hadn't said anything for the best candidate that did this or that. his criteria was the best candidate. and that is what he's done. lester. >> thank you. two questions. regarding the defense department announcement that our nuclear weapons are now a little over 5,000 compared to 30,000 in 1967 does this mean the president believes other nations with nuclear weapons will reduce their number like we have? and if so, which nations?
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>> well, i would say, lester, this president has followed in a long line of presidents that have understood the need to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons. one that comes to mind is ronald reagan. >> does the president believed a majority of the american people believe that this number of our nuclear weapons should have been made public? >> i'm sorry the first part? >> does he believe the number that we now have should have been made public? >> does he believe it should have been? he believed so much that he did. [laughter] thank you. [inaudible conversations] with afghan president karzai is on a trip to the united states
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and will deliver remarks with secretary of state clinton. now a recent hearing on the president's plan to send more troops to afghanistan. this is two hours and 15 minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> good morning. our committee meets today to receive testimony on developments and security and stability in the country of afghanistan. witnesses, old friends, thank you for coming back to michele flournoy, under secretary defense of policy and john paxton director for operations on the joint staff. we appreciate your coming back so soon. six months ago the president announced the results of a comprehensive review of the policy in afghanistan which for
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many years has essentially been nonexistent. during this announcement he endorsed a new counterinsurgency strategy centered on increasing u.s. forces by a 30,000 troops heading u.s. civilian experts and focusing on protecting the population of afghanistan from the taliban and their terrorist allies. i endorse the strategy then and i do so now. so many times while the news division cannot guarantee success in afghanistan, it is most likely to end within afghanistan that could prevent the return of the taliban and their al qaeda terrorist allies. six months into the new policy it is appropriate for congress to consider how things are going. 21,000 or the 30,000 troops have arrived in the country and many have been involved in the recent successful military operation around marjah. others will begin restoring security in kandahar, it is
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likely to be crucial to the overall success in the country. we've seen other clear signs of success in the fight against terrorists. the president's new strategy helped lead to the captain of the taliban second-in-command the former taliban finance minister in the so-called shadow governors of the afghan provinces. the most significant captors of afghan taliban leaders since the start of the war in afghanistan. we'll i'm pleased with the recent success in afghanistan, i anticipate others many concerned remain also we successfully cleared marjah the taliban still appears to be able to infiltrate the town and threaten and kill those who cooperate with american and afghan security forces. this may not be an anticipated. it takes time to build the confidence of the local population but i worry some of this may point to the weakness of the local government that cannot easily deliver the
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services and the governments needed to help convince residents of marjah to join the right side. now while we have increased force in afghanistan our allies have begun to send additional troops. today they've had about 50% of the 9,000 new troops they pledged after president obama's december speech. but serious concerns remain about our ability to train the afghan security forces who will have to assume the burden of providing security at combating terrorism in afghanistan without more international trainers. i'm pleased secretary gates decided to send additional u.s. military personnel to fill the gap but it's a short-term solution and it's not a long-term fix. this concern relates to another. in a recent meeting nato endorsed a process to transition the lead for security to in some districts from u.s. and allied troops to afghan national security forces. i think all of us would like to
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know more about this process as well as its implications. what progress do we have to see before it can transition to afghan leader and what does thin the district? are we talking about progress among the afghan security forces or must the district also be the government? finally a quick word of congratulations and one of caution. it department of defense recently delivered a very good on-time report on progress toward security and stability in afghanistan. thank you for that. unfortunately a similar somewhat higher level of metric report filed by the national security council was very disappointing. it's my hope future reports most closely resembles the one, two, three, zero reports and prevent real information. congress cannot judge progress, glorified press releases. again, think you for coming
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today. i suspect this will not be the last hearing on afghanistan. this committee will hold this year. i appreciate you working with us to insure congress can conduct its constitutional and appropriate oversight of activities. we are very pleased with your work and with your appearance. now from my good friend the ranking member of the gentleman from california mckeon. >> thank you for holding this hearing on afghanistan. i'd also like to welcome back undersecretary defense michele flournoy and lieutenant general john paxton. i look forward to the testimony. we are a nation at war. the attempted terrorist attack in new york city times square serves as the most recent reminder we face dangerous enemies to threaten the safety of security of the country. the extraordinary men and women of the military and their families need no reminding of this threat. they know all too well the sacrifices and to the commission
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that it takes to keep this fight off our shores. a lot has happened since the president stood before the american people and made the case for his afghanistan pakistan strategy. over half of the 30,000 forces authorized by the president have our life and in the country and our conducting operations in southern afghanistan. they are operating with some constraint both political and operational and this is where i would like to focus the remainder of my comments and questions. in my view, this body the matter which side of the all he resided and this committee in particular has the moral responsibility to ensure this war is in default with a minimalist mind set or an eye toward the of the washington political bloc. nearly 18 months ago amol michael mullen told this committee, and i quote, in afghanistan we do what we can. in iraq we do what we must. when it comes to free sourcing
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efforts in afghanistan on a remain concerned we are not doing everything we must in order to ensure general crystal and his commanders on the battlefield of the time, space and resources they need to succeed. let me be clear. i have the utmost confidence that general mcchrystal will get the job done. but some from washington raise the risk in increasing casualties. if authority thousand troup capper put in place by this administration is sending the wrong signal to our commanders and forcing military planners to make difficult trade-off decisions between combat troops and the key enablers. i'm particularly concerned we are under resource in force protection capabilities. it's my understanding that there continues to be a serious indirect fire threat to the u.s.
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coalition for operating bases in afghanistan yet the current force protection systems that protect the fobs and iraq are not deployed to protect afghanistan. this is disconcerting especially given the fact that we have evidence that such capabilities have saved hundreds of lives in iraq. today i would like the witnesses to explain what modifications have been made to the original joint operational need for the response to put in operation involving freedom and why these changes were made. why are we addressing this particular force protection shortfall differently in afghanistan than in iraq? specifically why are we deploying contractors instead of military personnel? it's my understanding if we get used military personnel like we did in iraq this capability would already be over in afghanistan protecting lives. while i focus on the impact of
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the troup cap on the field in a certain key enablers the cap becomes more problematic when you consider some of our nato allies are not meeting their commitments and others will be withdrawing their forces from southern afghanistan. for there is admiral mike mullen's comments suggest there was a time many thought of the two has a struggle for resources resulting in the haves and have-nots. iraq was the haves and afghanistan was the have nots. my suspicion is the mentality of the have nots me be impacting help commanders are implementing the resources they do have in afghanistan. for example in iraq there was a capability called task force oden responsible for killing or capturing over 3,000 insurgents as they were trying to put in ied is basically turning the ied placer into a suicide mission.
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in afghanistan they are standing at a similar task force oden capability however, it's my understanding this capability is being used differently than i was in iraq. instead of used to specifically go after ied placer his id is being incorporated into the big picture requirement. i am unclear if this is a tactical decision or the result of the signal from washington to operate under the ceilings we have been given. last, i've raised concerns the emphasis in the strategy appears to be on ending the conflict rather than winning. i wish the president would use words like a victory rather than transition and redeployment. this morning i hope to get a better understanding on what transition actually means. how do you explain the transition to the afghans, to the enemy and to our forces on the ground? mr. chairman, i ask my entire statement be included in the
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record where i address other concerns and questions. >> i certainly thank the gentleman. secretary flournoy, please. >> german skelton, congressman mckeon, distinguished members of the committee, it's good to see you all again. thank you for inviting us here to testify on our ongoing efforts in afghanistan. as you know the administration score a goal in the region is to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al qaeda and insure the elimination of the al qaeda safe havens. a critical component of the strategy is a stable afghanistan with governments and capacity to ensure afghanistan can no longer be a safe haven for al qaeda and insurgents. the u.s. and afghanistan also have shared interests that extend far beyond combating extremism and we are working to develop an enduring partnership
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that will serve both of our nations for years to come. when i last testified before you on afghanistan we face a pretty bleak situation. early collision gains have eroded, the taliban was reassigned and afghan confidence in the coalition was in decline. president obama ordered an immediate strategy review when it came into office and added 38,000 troops in the spring of 2009. after general mcchrystal's assessment last summer and for the review, the president said it to deploy additional 30,000 troops in december of last year. today, over half of the forces have already deployed and almost all of them will be in place by the end of august. more than 9,000 international troops have also been pledged. isaf is focused on protecting the afghan population and partnering with the afghan national security forces to build their capacity to conduct and leave security operations. the civilian surge is also moving forward. we have three times as many
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government civilians in kabul as we had a year ago and over four times as many civilians outside of kabul. the evidence suggests hour shift and approach is beginning to produce results. the insurgency is losing momentum. though real challenges and risks remain, we see a number of positive trends. let me highlight a few. as you know we are executing our strategy in close cooperation with the afghan government with our coalition allies and other partners in the region particularly pakistan. our consultations with partners have led to a greater sense of unity of effort and a common strategy. also changes in collection tactics have substantially reduced the percentage of afghan civilian casualties caused by a coalition actions to about 20%. this has produced significant positive shifts in afghanistan attitude towards both isaf and afghan forces.
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building the capacity of the afghan national security forces remains a significant challenge but there are signs of progress. currently the afghan national army strength as well of the april target, and the afghan national police are well on their way to achieving their growth goals for this fiscal year. that said, we continue to face trouble and is associated with recruiting, training, retention and attraction in the ansf. isaf has intensified with all levels of the ministry donner to the local units. but shortages of trainers and mentors persist. the afghan government has undertaken a number of initiatives to address these issues including raising the salaries of ansf and equalizing pay between the police and improving the quality-of-life and trying for police and beginning to address corruption. there is, however, much more work to be done to do about commensurate rule of law structures.
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more broadly, our emphasis on using desolate assistance to support sustainable governments similarly appears to be paying off. in clear areas such as the valley in the regional command south and other conditions for implementing the runs and programs of the district level are being created. and we are seeing international and afghan actors both military and civilian working together to effectively in power and legitimize the afghan government at the local level. despite the alleged corruption the polls suggest a majority of afghans about 59% believe the government is headed in the right direction. we've also seen positive steps taken by the karzai government at the national level. for instance, president karzai recently issued in turn guidance for the execution of reintegration programs. he will issue final guidance after the consultative peace journal later this month and we expect to be able to support the afghan reintegration program
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authority by releasing funds authorized by this committee and the congress in the fy ten ndaa. karzai and his members of cabinet as you know will be visiting washington next weekend highlight the continued support among afghans for our involvement there and the afghan appreciation for the sacrifices being made by vince u.s. troops and civilians. during president karzai's visit we also expect to discuss the nature of the long term strategic partnership between the u.s. and afghanistan including the long-term economic development, security cooperation in areas such as law enforcement, judicial reform and educational programs. as you know, our military operations and helmand continue and we are also engaged in planning and mishitting efforts for future efforts in kandahar. i will leave the specifics of that to the licht congenital paxton but i do want to note for
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isaf and the person the operation was the first large-scale effort to fundamentally change how we are doing business together. and helmand protecting population has been the top priority along with ensuring the military operations pave the way for afghan led governments and if element activities. preparation for the helmand operation included extraordinary levels of civil military planning and engagement with afghan partners at every level and we feel the collaborative operational planning process was critical to getting afghans a sense of ownership and investment in the success of our joint efforts. i don't want to suggest achieving success in afghanistan will be simple or easy. far from it to get kandahar for example will present challenges are fundamentally different from those that we have recently encountered and helmand. inevitably, we will face challenges, possibly setbacks' even as we achieve success. we need to recognize things
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might get harder before they get better. we are challenging our adversaries in new ways in the insurgents are intelligence and in adaptable. they will find new ways to respond and to maintain tomentum we need to continuously refine and adapt our own tactics. but at this point i'm cautiously optimistic. i believe that we are developing the conditions necessary though not yet sufficient for success. we finally come and i would argue for the first time we finally have the right mission, the right strategy, the right leadership team in place and we have marshalled both the international and afghan resources, civilian and military to support this mission. afghanistan is our number one priority. general mcchrystal knows that he can ask for what he needs. the president has given the secretary of defense the flexibility to provide for additional forces particularly when force protection is needed. as we move forward we will continue to refine our approach
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and i believe we will continue to make progress. i want to think this committee for the support you provided to the troops and to this mission this far. i would urge you to continue their support in considering our current budget requests before you and i know that general paxton will address the operational matters in greater detail and we look forward to your question and comments. thank you. >> thank you so much. general paxton. >> good morning, chairman skelton, ranking member mckeon and distinguished members of the committee. thank you for your time today. this morning i would like to provide an overview of military operations in afghanistan. as secretary flournoy printable we are starting to see conditions we believe are necessary for success and afghanistan. most important of the conditions is having the right leadership and strategy in place. in 2009 after assuming command of ideas to get general mcchrystal conducted an assessment of the situation in
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afghanistan. he developed a campaign plan that was designed to provide a secure environment that would enable and improve governments and diplomat in afghanistan. at the heart of the campaign plan are four requirements colin code to protect the afghan people, to enable afghan security forces, to neutralize and malign influence is and to support the extension of government. general mcchrystal has gone to great lengths to ensure all of our operations in afghanistan are directly tied to achieving these games. the central tenet of the campaign strategy is to protect the populace. we are fulfilling this bipartisan efforts to provide security and extend governance and high density population areas on the insurgent groups currently operate and by reducing civilian casualties. the reduction of the casualties is another key component of the efforts to protect the people in afghanistan. general mcchrystal has repeatedly emphasized his point at every opportunity. in fact hour own force
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protection is closely related to gaining the respect and support of the afghan people. ied is remain the number one killer in afghanistan accounting for 60% of the total casualties. in some areas over 80% of our ied discoveries have been a direct result of tips from local nationals. we are convinced these are a result of the relationships that we are building on a daily basis with of the local population and the protection that we are providing. clearly the support of the people of afghanistan is essential and relates directly to our own safety. regional command south is currently with operations are in afghanistan we are expanding security zones enhancing freedom of movement and increasing the confidence of afghan national security forces and partners by the growth of the partner concept. the real prize in the south is the key city of kandahar and its environs. kandahar city is of huge importance nationally and is the capitol of the south. it is a rich culture and history and is the key economic help and
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of great importance to the taliban movement which originated in kandahar. the insurgents had a degree of freedom as recent subside bombings of demonstrate and the local police lack sufficient forces to prevent insurgent activity while the government also lack the capacity, credibility and resources to operate effectively. the people of canada are caught in the middle of confrontation and a demand better security and economic to the moment, and the government in touch with and responsive to their needs. our operation in kandahar is named hamkari that means cooperation. it will be conducted without can partners in the lead for operations. focus of hamkari is on providing kandahar with credible effective governance that gives the population hope for the future. more effective government will deliver security basic services and employment. but these ends are achieved the people of kandahar will reject the insurgency and support the
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government. the plan for hamkari were in proved to be approved on the fourth of april by the president when he visited the city. over time it will deliver security the people kandahar desire and to all the insurgents from the city and outlying districts by steadily restricting freedom to operate. and more capable representatives and responsive government to bring the economic development and will fall the areas that we need. hamkari is not about highly kinetic military operations. it is about applying the combined resources of the afghan national army, the afghan national police and isaf and supporting the governor to improve the security within the city and in the populated and fireman's. hamkari will bring the government and people closer together to make for a better future for kandahar. the recent clearing operations by the afghan national security forces, the marines and british and gillani were in fact shaving the operations for this upcoming
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event and operations in and around kandahar. there are several significant differences between hamkari and the operation in marjah. of the size and population are different in canada than in marjah. in marjah isaf forces relied on kinetic operations to clear the insurgents from the populated area. in kandahar s general mcchrystal recently indicated, and i quote, there won't be a d-day that is climactic. instead there will be a rising tide of security for the local population. our current assessment is a positive trend suggests ansf growth and improved security, governments and to the limit in the central element or a result of recent operations and indicate that the campaign is on track moving in the right direction. previously the trends in some areas of the country have been are arrested while trends elsewhere have been starting to advance the positive direction. current trends remain tenuous until more permanent and
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effective governance is established. in the areas being secured. indoor and stability is dependent on the government of afghanistan's ability to deliver a credible, local governments and essential services and to expand economic opportunities for its people. real progress will be confirmed only when the afghan people believe that lasting security stability have been established in their areas, and this will take time. people's perceptions typically change more slowly and a lag behind the actions but actually improving the conditions on the ground. as i conclude my remarks as did secretary flournoy i would caution everyone that in spite of the recent success in the central helmand we shouldn't underestimate the challenges that lie before us or that underplay the need for the result in the days ahead because we continue to fight intelligent adult will enemy. thank you for your time this morning. more importantly i think you for your support of the troops, their families and the mission and i look forward to your questions. thank you.
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>> thank you for a much. again, we appreciate your being with us and your excellent assessment. both of you come with me in your mind's eye. my hometown, lexington, early in the morning go to a local coffee shop and a fair are seven or eight of my gentlemen friends sitting around drinking coffee talking about football games and baseball games that are coming up and i introduce you. most of them are veterans of the vietnam or korea, and one of them turns to you and says are we achieving success in afghanistan? another one turns to you and says when do we declare victory in afghanistan? and i step back and let you answer the questions.
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madam secretary, the two questions. >> chairman skelton, i believe we are achieving success. we are on the right road for the first time in a long time in afghanistan. so that is the assessment of general mcchrystal that we hear weekly in our conversations with him. it is the assessment in our u.s. government team on the ground. are we done yet? of supply not. are there more challenges to be dealt with? yes but we are on the right path and things are starting to move in the right direction. in terms of how to define victory i think that victory -- sprick i didn't say defining it. the question was -- >> i'm sorry, when is victory. >> my friend asked you are we achieving it. >> i think when it is victory is
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based on achieving certain conditions and that, to me, is making sure that the government of afghanistan has the capacity to exert its sovereignty over the territory to deny al qaeda and its associates safe haven in the country and to maintain stability so that it can continue to develop on the way forward. that relates to the core goals we've defined for ourselves in this mission. >> general? to questions. >> in terms of success, and i too believe we are achieving success on the ground. the definition of success, well, the indicator of success, it is true for levels of violence or up right now and in some areas both the attacks have been up and the ieds in particular are up, but as i noted earlier, what we are seeing is in some cases up to 80% of the local
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population letting us know with the ieds already and that contributed to a reduction in the number of casualties and increased operational efficiency in marjah and its a expectation that as we have better partner and, more partnering, more afghans in the lead in the planning and the execution we will see the trends continue as we move into kandahar. in terms of victory, i believe that the indicators for victory are there is a lag between the execution and the indication and it is indeed very dependent on the demonstration of both capacity and credibility of the afghan people, the security forces and the governments to actually lead and provide security and provide opportunities for the people. but the more that the polls indicate as they currently do, then the believe in the afghan national security forces and all
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isaf and they believe the current operations are generating potential for a better life for them and we are on the right road, sir. >> thank you so much. mr. mckeon. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in my opening comments i stated that at merrill mike mullen told this committee in afghanistan we do what we can and iraq and we do what we must 18 months ago. and actually this statement was made december of 2007 swy wanted to correct that for the record. as i stated earlier, i'm concerned that the 40,000 troup cap for afghanistan forcing difficult decisions to be made when it comes to finding certain key enablers including force protection measures for via forward operating basis do we have a troup cap in afghanistan? >> we do not have a truck cab.
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30,000 is the number of forces the president has approved. it isn't a cap, per say petraeus bac that is based on the assessment on the ground and the assistant subject to review both by general mcchrystal and back here in washington. and the 30k that people refer to is just one component, sir, because we have an additional nine to 10,000 of nato forces and then we have what is now in route to 134 afghan national army and up to 170 some afghan national police. so you have to look at the composite mix of all of the security forces and we are trying to strike the balance between u.s. coalition force and the local nationals. >> so you feel there is no cap and general mcchrystal put call on all of the resources that he felt he needed? >> indeed he has. he's come back to ask for more and it is a constant series of assessments which i personally get involved with on a weekly basis to take a look at the flow
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of forces and what should go next door in addition to. >> let me talk on a little bit about the enablers in iraq versus afghanistan. can you answer the following: are we addressing force protection on the fall differently in afghanistan and iraq and if yes, then why are we deploying the contractors instead of military personnel? >> sergel our analysis of the force protection is no different regardless of the theater, and it is a strike the balance between is the threat direct fire, indirect fire, aviation missile and then you take a look at the appropriate indications and mornings you would need to identify where the threat would come from. i would tell you that as we look to increase our footprint and boots on the ground presence in afghanistan we also look to bring in what we commonly called the enablers that you need to have to provide the force


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